Improving the public's health: A resource for local authorities

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Local authorities have been given renewed responsibility for public health as part of the health and social care reforms introduced in April 2013, alongside dedicated funding and a new public health outcomes framework. But given the scale of need and the challenges facing different local communities, how can councils decide which aspects of public health to prioritise, and what actions are most effective?

While detailed guidance is yet to be developed, this report fills the gap by providing information and resources in nine key areas to help council leaders answer these questions. It brings together a wide range of evidence-based interventions about 'what works' in improving public health and reducing health inequalities. It presents the business case for different interventions and signposts the reader to further resources and case studies.

Key findings 

The broader determinants of health – people's local environment, housing, transport, employment, and their social interactions – can be significantly influenced by how local authorities deliver their core roles and functions. Local authorities also now have to demonstrate that they are delivering 'social value' – that is, that they have considered the social, environmental and economic impacts of their commissioning decisions. The report considers nine key areas where local authorities can have a significant impact on the public's health:

Policy implications

  • For local authorities, improving the public's health requires clarity of purpose and a robust local framework based on outcomes-focused partnerships, and commitment to systematic health impact assessment.
  • Local authorities need to be supported by central government policy, reforms such as welfare, which are likely to have significant public health impacts, should be subject to macro-level health impact assessments.
  • Health impact assessments should be championed across central and local government. For that to happen, public health needs to be prioritised across government departments – not just within the Department of Health.

See more of this work on public health and local authorities

Comments

Christine Muta…

Position
Graduated in Public Health,
Organisation
University of East London
Comment date
09 August 2014
Dear Sir or madam
I am graduated this year 2014 and I would like to joint the Research Public Health Center in order to improve public's health.

I hope to hear from you.

Christine Mutatshi Mbandu

Nilima

Position
Student,
Organisation
Anglia Ruskin university
Comment date
08 April 2015
Dear sir/madam,

I am studying in MBA(healthcare), I am interested in research degree, it will be appreciated if I get any area or idea for research , which can be implemente for public wellbeing.

Looking forward to hear from you.
Kind regards
Nilima dash

Adele

Position
excellent put up, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don't understand this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you've a huge readers' base already! latahza,
Organisation
excellent put up, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don't understand this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you've a huge readers' base already! latahza
Comment date
07 January 2017
excellent put up, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite
specialists of this sector don't understand this.

You must continue your writing. I am sure, you've a huge readers' base
already! latahza

Deborah Smith

Position
Trainee advanced nurse practitioner,
Organisation
GP Practice
Comment date
06 February 2017
I am currently studying advanced clinical practice at masters level. I am about to start the public health research module, and I was thinking about researching the effects of screen time in children, do you think this would be a beneficial area to look at?

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